Wednesday 20 May 2015

Laburnum Tree 2015

For a couple weeks every year the Laburnum tree is in all its glory

The Laburnum Fairy 
Bees! bees! come to the trees
Where the Lime has hung her treasures;
Come, come, hover and hum;
Come and enjoy your pleasures!
The feast is ready, the guests are bidden;
Under the petals the honey is hidden;
Like pearls shine the drops of sweetness there,
And the scent of the Lime-flowers fills the air.
But soon the blossoms pretty and pale
Will all be gone; and the leaf-like sail
Will bear the little round fruits away;
So bees! bees! come while you may!

Cicely Mary Baker

Friday 15 May 2015

Summer is on its way..........

1930's Swimsuit anyone?

Thursday 14 May 2015

Flock of Seagulls!

Of the knitted kind!  
I thought I would knit some Seagulls which are now for sale in my shop (see the side bar).  The pattern was devised by myself which is also for sale if you fancy trying your hand at knitting your own.  

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Dresden Plate Quilt

I haven't been around for a while.  The garden called, I won't show anymore pictures of the garden for a while, you are all spared.  There isn't much to see now anyway.......! I haven't been idle either.  I made some large corsages.  Three were a special order from USA, but two are in my shop (see sidebar).

I have also made the first of three special quilts.

 I used very little equipment to make this quilt. I was shown how to do this quilt too many years ago I care to remember by a lovely lady I once knew as a child, so I know the sizes of how to do this off-by-heart.  When I was first shown there were no such things as cutting mats and cutting wheels, and most patchwork was English Paper Pieced and hand stitched together.  I actually used to use a ruler set-square, protractor before cutting mats - a great invention do you not think - cutting mats that is!

This quilt is a combination of Machine Sewing, Hand Sewing and Quilt-as-you go.


Take a 10" x 5" (5" x 5" square)  piece of fabric and fold in half and press with a hot iron.
Lay on the cutting mat between the 0 and 5" line.
Using a pen and ruler draw the line as shown :-
From 1" top to 0 bottom
From 2" top to 3" bottom
From 5" top to 4" bottom

Cut the pieces carefully holding the fabric.
You will need sixteen pieces just like above.

Fold in half lengthwise and machine across the wide edge.

Just trim the corner

Turn right-side out and press with the iron.
(A lot of pressing is required from this stage)

Machine all the pieces into pairs.  Then press the seam.
Always machine from the pressed pointed end to the narrow edge.
(The centre edges will with uneven but that will not matter)

Then machine the pairs together making section of four pieces,
making sure all the seams are pressed going the same way.

Join the last four seams together and press the four seams

Take a large square of fabric.
This depends how large you would like your patch.
Fold in four and press.
Place four points on the crease lines and carefully measure
to make sure it is central and pin in place.

Hand stitch in place.


I use this stitch on all hand stitching on quilts


Draw round a tin lid onto a piece of light card or thick paper.

Cut a circle of fabric at least 1/2" wider than the card.

Stitch row of running stitched close to the edge leaving a long tail of thread,
don't fasten off, leave another long tail of thread,
fold in four and press to make guide lines.

Place the card disc into the centre of the fabric
and pull the tails of thread to gather the fabric.
Slightly press on this side, remove the card disc.

Pin to the centre of the patch, using the creases as guidelines.
Measure to make sure the centre is central.
Stitch in place as you did with the pointed patch.

If you wish to decorate the centre patch, do this now.
I blanket stitched round the edge of this patch.


Lay out the patches
Measure and cut inner edges, as illustrated.
(The inner edges are half width of the main edge and joined later.)

Repeat with other inner edges
this time including the first edgings in the measurements

The outer edge is twice the width of the inner edges

If the edges are of darker fabric make sure all the
seams are pressed away from the light fabric

I always cut the backing fabric and wadding (batting)
larger than the top patch

Pin or tack the three layers in place

The fun bit!

Trim the edges

TIPS that work for me

Pin the backing and the wadding out of the to
quilt-as-you-go joining the patches together

To make sure the seams meet together accurately because the weight of the quilting makes the quilt heavy and awkward, I always pin and machine the joins first, then I machine the full length of the quilt, this stops the fabric slipping despite of the pinning well first.


Trim the wadding (batting) to fit in the space

Pin in place and hand stitch using the blind stitch.
Be careful not to take the needle to the front of the quilt.

To bind the quilt I followed these instructions

I have been making this style of quilt ever since I could hold a pair of scissors and needle and thread, and have made quite a few over the years, some quilts were completed and some were left.......  I even made a skirt from the pattern once too!  That is is whole new story................

The design is called the The Dresden Plate.

The Dresden Plate was devised by the German emigrant women in the 1930's from their precious Dresden Plates.   They drew round their fancy precious plates and folded the circular paper pattern into sections and the template was born!

This particular design make a sixteen piece patch, but remember a circle is 360 degrees so experiment!

22.5 degree angles  =  16 piece patch
45 degree angles  =  8 piece patch
90 degree angles  = 4 piece patch

10 degree angles  = 36 piece patch
20 degree angles  =  18 piece patch

12 degree angles  =  30 piece patch
24 degree angles  =  15 piece patch

60 degree angles  =  6 piece patch
40 degree angles  =  9 piece patch

I use the 16 piece patch because I know it fits onto a 5" square of fabric

For an assortment of graph papers go here  you can even print polar graph paper.  This graph paper is circular!